Wetlands, Vernal Streams & Pools
The thin topsoils of the bluff are the result of scouring of the area by the Missoula Floods, some 10,000 years ago. The solid basalt substrate contributes to the unique hydrology of the area that collects and moves a high volume of water in the Fall to Spring and transitions to bone dry in Summer. This habitat supports an array of specialized wet prairie species adapted to thrive in these extremes of very wet to dry.
Monkey Flower, Rosy Plectritis Camas and Saxifrage bloom along the solid basalt streambed
Shooting stars bloom in one of several wet meadows on the bluff.
The largest vernal stream running Eastward, channels between rocky outcrops before spilling over the bluff 's Eastern edge in a 50' waterfall.
Nutall's Quillwort, a tiny "dinosaur" plant that thrives in the bluffs pools.
Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes Porrifolia) above and Bog Bird-foot Trefoil (Hocksackia pinnata) below. Two of the bluff's more uncommon species that prefer the wet Spring meadows.
Popcorn flowers begin life as tiny aquatic plants in the bluff's spring pools before blooming in mid-Summer as the water completely dissipates for another year.